Ensemble agents, and Travel Agent, were at the Ensemble Travel Group's
annual conference at the Fairmont Royal York in Toronto
Oct. 18–21. Ensemble President and Chief Executive Officer Jack E. Mannix
implored his membership to exceed the sales growth targets of the consortium's
preferred suppliers and to develop more personal relationships. "We have
to hit growth targets...We have to be more effective at directional
selling," says Mannix. "We [Ensemble's directors] have to create
products and services to make sure customers keep coming to you...That puts
money in your pocket."
Travel Agent found that it appeared that the free
ride Ensemble's Canadian membership has gotten to date on the point of dual
membership was about to come to an end. Mannix told Travel Agent that the
consortium has not enforced the dual affiliation rule for Canadian membership
so far, despite taking a tough stance on the topic with U.S.
agencies. He said that when Ensemble imposed the rule in the U.S. three years ago, it
didn't know enough about the potential effects on the Canadian market to take
the same step in Canada.
That should change, he said, perhaps as early as the third quarter of next
"For the Canadian market, we've taken a softer stance
because there was a few issues to address first, but you will see us move in
the same direction [as in the U.S.]."
Ensemble announced its Top 10 Producers (in alphabetical
order): Alice Travel in Fairfield,
Cruise Travel of San Jose, CA; Ambassador Tours of San Francisco, CA; CruiseValueCenter, East Brunswick, NJ; Hartford
Holidays of Williston
Montrose Travel Service of Montrose,
Custom Travel of Valley Village,
Travel & Cruise of Albuquerque,
of Covina, CA; and Travel–Store of Los Angeles.
The consortium's new preferred suppliers include Alpine
Adventures, G.A.P. Adventures, Live The West Vacations (dude ranches),
Honeymoon Wishes Bridal Registry, SpaQuest, Adare Manor Hotel & Golf Resort
in Budapest, and
Jumeirah Essex House in New York.
Ensemble also added a few names to its growing On Location
program. New partners include Iceland Travel, TourTech International in Latin
America, Paradise Tours in Tahiti, Abercrombie & Kent in Hong Kong and Asia, and Scandinavian Destination Services.